When Kim Kardashian filled in as co-host for Kelly Ripa on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Aug. 28, the ratings shot up 15% — leaving the talk show veteran very nervous. Not only did the reality star have great rapport with fellow co-host Ryan Seacrest, but she brought with her a giant fanbase (um… 103 million Instagram followers to be exact!)

“Kim could very well be the future of Live,” an insider close to Kelly and Ryan tells Life & Style. “No one will ever say that Kelly is the problem. But ABC has tried everything to make Live the morning hit it once was, to no avail.” The show has been struggling ever since Michael Strahan’s abrupt exit last year.

“It’s pretty impressive that Kim was able to spike ratings on her first try,” notes the TV industry insider. “The jump in numbers shows that Ryan and Kim are an exciting package. They bring in a younger, more desirable demo that would really boost revenue.” Plus, a different source adds, “Ryan has natural chemistry with Kim that just isn’t there with Kelly. And the audience see it.”

The KUWTK producer has “been flexing his muscle and calling the shots these days,” claims the insider. “It’s no secret that Kim is Ryan’s girl. She’s by far the biggest star he’s discovered. She’s a ready-made co-host for him… Things definitely feel like they’ve changed between Kelly and Ryan. Kelly might be watching her back a little more than usual.”

And Kim seems on board with the idea. After 10 years of cameras following her every move, this would be a nice change-up to her routine. “She could easily commute back to LA every week just like Ryan is doing for American Idol,” says the source. We honestly would love to see Kim and Kelly duke it out!